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Bad Boy: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels) Hardcover – August 24, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews
Book 19 of 22 in the Inspector Alan Banks Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Robinson tries something different in his excellent 19th novel to feature Det. Chief Insp. Alan Banks (after All the Colors of Darkness) by keeping the Yorkshire policeman offstage for the first half of the book. Banks's daughter, Tracy, knows that her friend, Erin Doyle, is dating a bad boy. But she doesn't know how bad Jaff McCready is until the recovery of a gun at Erin's parents' home results in a fatal accident. Before Tracy knows what's happening, Jaff whisks her on an adventure, eventually hiding out at Banks's house while her father is on holiday in America. As Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot searches for Jaff, Tracy's infatuation turns sour when she finds Jaff's suitcase of drugs, money, and a gun, and becomes his hostage. When Banks returns to Yorkshire, he has to balance his roles as a cop and a father. Robinson deftly integrates Banks's personal life with an acute look at British attitudes about police, guns, and violence in this strong entry in a superb series.
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Robinson’s long-running series starring Alan Banks, now detective chief inspector of the Yorkshire Constabulary, plays off the character of complicated, morose, solitude- and music-loving Banks, a throwback to the depressed detective of classic hard-boiled fiction. This time Banks is not only complicated and depressed, but he’s also completely offstage for about half of the action, on holiday in the American West and seen only briefly. Fans will be disappointed, but the absence of Banks picks up the pace quite a bit. Banks’ sometime lover and longtime ally, Inspector Annie Cabott, fills the void nicely in a case that begins when a former neighbor of Banks’ reports her daughter has a gun in the home. The Armed Response Team arrives and tragically mucks up a tense situation. Part of Robinson’s narrative talent is his ability to convert police procedure and politics into gripping reading. The gun at the scene of the botched police operation belonged to an exotic, handsome young man, boyfriend of the girl holding the gun and acquainted with Banks’ daughter, Tracy. The bulk of the book is an absolutely stunning examination of how Tracy fell for this bad boy, hiding him from police and coming to the horrific awareness that he is a sociopath more than willing to kill her. We don’t really need Banks when he gets back—the character study of Tracy and the tension of her situation drive the book. A change of pace for the series, to be sure, but another outstanding crime novel from Robinson. --Connie Fletcher

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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 19)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061362956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061362958
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While DCI Alan Banks of the North Yorkshire police is on holiday in America, Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot interviews an old friend and former neighbor of his, Mrs. Juliet Doyle. Juliet has come to the Eastvale station to report that her daughter, Erin, somehow got hold of a gun and brought it into their home. Erin's mother was hoping that, as a favor, Alan could take care of the matter without causing an uproar. Since Banks is still in California, the case is handled according to standard protocol, with disastrous consequences.

Meanwhile, Tracy, Alan's twenty-four year old daughter, who lived with Erin and a third roommate named Rose, takes up with Erin's former boyfriend, thirty-one year old Jaff McCready, a "nasty piece of work." "He was good-looking, bright, a real charmer, and maybe crooked." Tracy is ready to leave her "good girl" persona behind, and Jaff seems to be just the guy to hang out with while she reinvents herself. Peter Robinson's "Bad Boy" describes what happens when a naïve young woman gets involved with a reckless and self-absorbed man. Annie tries to help Tracy but, unfortunately, Jaff is far more dangerous than he appears, and the situation quickly spirals out of control. Soon, Jaff and Tracy are on the run, not only from the police but also from Jaff's confederates, who are even more sadistic and ruthless than he is. Soon Tracy realizes that "what had yesterday seemed like a mildly exciting lark was now turning out to be something more serious."

"Bad Boy" is one of Robinson's lesser entries in his usually superb series featuring DCI Alan Banks.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the realm of pop culture the female offspring with bad taste in men and a propensity for landing in life threatening-peril has a long history. Audra in The Big Valley, Diana Fairgate in Knots Landing, Kim Bauer in 24, to name but a few, inspired in viewers like me a weekly mixture of disappointment and awe. Disappointment that yet another perfectly good opportunity to kill them had been squandered and awe that any writer could think stupidity makes compelling entertainment. Into this rich tradition Peter Robinson's Bad Boy launches DCI Banks' daughter Tracey Banks, hitherto not renown for her imbecility.

Tracey, however, is a comer. And she's surrounded by several idiotic characters and situations that serve to vault her own burgeoning dimwittedness into the stratosphere. In the first few chapters we are confronted with England's dumbest mother - what do you do if you suspect your child is in trouble? Why you toddle down to the local police station; a "gun removal" procedure that despite several characters noting that it is "by the book" strikes me as being taken from the adventures of Larry, Moe and Curly; a cardboard cutout police villain; and Tracey, who has decided to call herself Francesca to spice up her boring life. Is it any wonder that Banks himself would choose to flee the jurisdiction and vacation in California? Sadly, he's not in search of higher IQs, he's off searching his soul after the collapse of his relationship with a younger woman and his encounter with MI5. He's on a California whine tour.

To make matters even more entertaining, Robinson has decided to delete the mystery portion from this installment of this mystery series. You know who did it. Banks knows who did it. The only person who is momentarily dim on this is, you guessed it, Tracey.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been a fan of the Detective Banks series for a while but this is definitely one of the weaker books in this series. It is not at the level of In a Dry Season (Inspector Banks Mysteries). In fact, Detective Banks doesn't appear in this mystery until about 100 pages into it.

The novel starts off with Julia Doyle, an old neighbor of Detective Alan Banks coming to the station house very upset. She found a gun in her daughter, Erin's, room. For those of you who don't know, unlicensed gun possession in England carries a mandatory five year sentence and always consists of jail time. Detective Banks is on vacation and so the case is turned over to others in the squad. Tragically, in the course of confiscating the gun, Julia's husband is tasered and dies as a result.

Meanwhile, we are privy to the fact that Erin, as well as Detective Banks' daughter, Tracy, are attracted to 'bad boys'. Their latest par amour is Jaff McReady, a seamy guy who is into bad stuff. As the story progresses we find out that he is trying to outfox bigger bad boys and get away with their drugs and money. In the course of things, Tracy turns from his girlfriend into his hostage. It is up to Detective Banks and his team to apprehend Jaff and save Tracy.

Their are lots of holes in the plot and the characterizations are weak. The quality of the writing is very good as is usual for Peter Robinson but he just didn't delve deeply enough into the characters and rationales of Erin, Tracy, Jaff, or The Farmer. Had he done this, the book would be longer but much more satisfying.
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